Television

Sony Max gets ‘filmy’ yet again!

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MUMBAI: It’s no surprise that Indians have always been crazy or ‘deewana’ about two things - Bollywood and cricket. It is the only country, where in the most unexpected of moments one can find people using a dialogue from a movie or breaking into a song. And it’s this ‘Bollywood Fever’ which makes it important for Hindi movie channel Sony Max to bring out the ‘deewanapan’ (craziness) in a new, surprising manner every time.

It was in 2012, when the channel felt the need to get viewers close to the world of movies and live the life filmy style, and thus launching a campaign titled, ‘Shuruaat Yahin Se’ which celebrated 100 years of cinema. It talked about how watching a good film is a way to handle extreme emotions.

But the phrase failed to click with the audiences, and so in 2013, the channel’s tagline ‘Deewana Bana De’ had to come back in a new avatar. Max launched three television commercials as part of its brand campaign - ‘Jahan Dekho, Vahaan Deewana’ which added a new dimension to its existing positioning, ‘Deewana Bana De’.

This year, to further strengthen its emotional connect with the consumers, the channel has launched three commercials as part of its brand campaign - ‘Ab Khulkar phailegi Deewangi’. The three 40-seconders, carve out the very basic element within the common man. It doesn't talk about brand Max, but about the deewanapan in everyone.

The first of the three TVCs that went on-air on 15 December shows how an extremely slow tuk-tuk driver gets charged-up by listening to the ‘Dhoom’ song tune and starts cruising through the road in full speed.

The second TVC shows bridesmaids along with an old aunt making a war cry for the bride ‘Chak De’ to perk her up from the anxiety of her suhagraat. The third TVC depicts how a furniture showroom salesman bitten by the Bollywood bug replicates the iconic Zanjeer movie scene while attending a customer.

This year the channel has particularly borrowed dialogues and songs from key films like Zanjeer (1973), Dhoom and Chak De India. The films have a very subtle humorous appeal and the brand films are directed by ace ad film maker Anaam Mishra from Crome Pictures.

Sony Max VP - marketing Vaishali Sharma believes that this will make the campaign more powerful. “It will help us integrate the brand seamlessly into the consumers’ life,” she says.  

According to Sony Max senior VP and business head Neeraj Vyas, Hindi films have their own kind of crafting and now the germ is all over. “In the last 50 years of cinema, the characters and songs have become larger than life. There is filmy madness in everybody and now the madness is spreading. Till last year, we said ‘Deewana Bana De’ and showered some elements and this year we are saying that look, now the craziness is spreading.”

Conceptualised by DDB Mudra, it took two months for the channel from planning to the execution of all the three commercials. Vyas found the scripts very cute and in the Max zone. When asked why the channel picked these three movies, he says, “It could have been anything else as well. But when you sit for a campaign for over two months you go through a lot of ideas and scripts. We thought that these were quite relevant and without being over-the-top funny.”

According to Sharma every year the channel continues to strengthen its emotional connect with the consumers so that it can, within the space of Hindi movie genre, continue to occupy strong position and affinity in the hearts and minds of consumers.

For Sharma , ‘Deewana Bana De’ as a positioning line, has lived for a long time but the channel’s attempt in the last one-two years has been to make it more relevant to people’s life.  “The impact that Bollywood films have on our lives is ingrained into our DNA. Also from the brand perspective, strengthening the fact that people from all strata’s continue to watch Max and owning the space of how movies impact our daily lives.”

DDB Mudra Group chairman and CCO Sonal Dabral feels that the new campaign is all about infecting people with passion and love for this great Indian cinema and to encourage people to see the lighter side in every walk of life. He adds, “India is a country passionate and obsessed with ‘Bollywood’ and what better way to capture this unique obsession than by coming out with a campaign which pays homage to Indian cinema.”

Sharma shares the learning that the channel has acquired over the years. One, to understand what role movies plays in people’s lives and two, how it is a big source of entertainment.  “Over the years how we have evolved as a brand is how we make ‘Deewana Bana De’ or Max as a brand more relatable. We have wide range of audience’s right from people in metros to LC1 and rural markets, but to find a brand essence and a campaign that cuts across audiences is a tricky task for us.”

So to make the job easy, year-on-year the channel keeps in touch with the consumers by doing qualitative and quantitative research to find out how they are interacting with the brand and how movies on television forms a big chunk of their daily lives. “Especially when you keep going down to smaller and smaller towns, the whole aspect of ‘I wait to watch movies on television to brighten up my life’ is what consumers share the relation with the brand. So the brand affinity scores are very high for Max.”

According to Vyas, the channel does hygiene research every year to keep understanding what the consumers want and to keep a tab on social relevant changes that keeps on happening across which also helps the channel in the kind of movies it picks.

To give an extra dose of entertainment, apart from the brand campaigns, fillers like Bittu Bak Bak, Fully Deewana, etc also keep running throughout the day.

On the marketing front, it’s a primarily television led campaign. Apart from both the movie properties - Max and Max 2, the commercials will also be available across the Sony network. Moreover, Max has bought space on 32 channels for over three weeks from other networks to promote the new campaigns. These include English news, regional channels, kids and music channels to a large extent. The 360 degree marketing plan also includes a digital campaign and cinema across key markets spread over the next one month.

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